Akinfayoshe Daniel Oturu was born in Brooklyn, New York to parents Deborah and Francis Oturu. Oturu's parents are were both born in Nigeria. Daniel has one brother and two sisters. Daniel's father, Francis, played table tennis for the Nigerian national team, which led to the family's move to the USA. Oturu's first name, Akinfayoshe, combines the Yoruba words "Akin" (which translates to "hero") and "fayoshe" ( which means "joy and happiness"). Oturu played his high school ball in St. Paul, Minnesota for Cretin-Derham Hall High School. He's the school's all-time leader in points, rebounds and blocks. During his senior year he averaged 18.8 points, 11.5 boards and 6.1 blocks per high school contest. During that season, he led CDH to the Class 4A state championship, where he slammed home the winning dunk with 0.5 seconds remaining. Oturu attended the University of Minnesota for two years, where he studied sports management. Oturu had a solid freshman year with Minnesota in which he posted 10.8 points and 7.0 rebounds, but he leaped onto the national radar during his second season of Big 10 play. He added more of a three-point shot to help his scoring balloon to 20.1 PPG, good for second in the Big Ten. The 6-10 center also had 18 double-doubles and led the conference in rebounding at 11.3 RPG. He had two separate 30-point games, Jan. 12 and Feb. 8, plus a 20-20 performance in non-conference play Dec. 28. Oturu was second-team All-Big Ten and first-team Big Ten All-Defense, even making it on to the Wooden Award watchlist late in the season. He also led the conference in field-goal percentage (.563) and blocks per game (2.5).